The biggest flock of bramblings I’ve ever seen in the garden, over 75, today, 13th December 2015!!
I gave up waiting for a serious frost and harvested the first of my jerusalem artichokes today. Might as well do it while the weather is still good (JA harvest is for me synonymous with frozen fingers!). With the long mild autumn, the yield of Dave’s Shrine (long red, spreading variety) was above average, although the plants didn’t manage to flower (they sometimes almost flower, but nowhere near it this year).
I found the following description on the net from “Taylor’s Guide to Heirloom Vegetables”:
Dave’s Shrine (Judy’s Red or Wolcottonian Red) was collected by Dave Briars of Craftsbury, Vermont. Long (3-4 in.), fat tubers have beautiful bronzy purple skins; ivory –coloured flesh contains lots of dry matter, which gives this variety a “saltier”, more meaty taste than other chokes.
The white variety is Stampede which is probably identical to Bianca and Norwegian Dagnøytral (see http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=2669)
I’ve only ever seen goldfinches feeding on burdock seeds (Arctium) in the garden before. This morning I saw them both on nettle seed heads and then on these unharvested chicory heads. Another reason to grow and save seed of chicories, a wonderful vegetable that is easy to grow organically, comes in many great edimental varieties, beautiful flowers in the second year, both leafy green, root vegetable and coffee replacement varieties available, some being perennial as is the wild plant and can be forced in winter! See more in my book Around the world in 80 plants!
A packet of seed arrived from a friend in a botanical garden that I trade with occasionally today. Chaenomeles cathayensis! I think there’s enough seed here to turn my diversity garden into a monoculture! And with the seed, some fruit leather made of the fruit of the same species :) Very tasty!
Elderberries dried over my wood stove!